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When can my chicks go outside for part of the day? Confused

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by guesswhatchickenbutt, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Central FL
    I'm trying hard to go by the books with my first little chicks. I figure when I've got some knowledge under my belt I can wing it a bit, but while I'm still learning I ought to go by the book.

    I've found all the info on keeping them in the brooder and what temp it should be and lowering it 5 degrees each week.... but I can't find anything that says if they can leave the toasty red light of the brooder and hang out in the back yard for a bit.

    We took them out when they were about 4 days old just to get some photos and they seemed to enjoy it. We sat there with them, of course. We only have 3 chicks, so I know they need to be under our watchful eye. But then I wondered - can they be outside for an hour? two hours? or is 5 minutes long enough and they should get straight back in the brooder under the light?

    None of this stuff is in the books! LOL

    I suppose I should mention that I live in Florida and it's in the mid-80s here.
     
  2. hennypenny9

    hennypenny9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can take them out at any point as long as A) you watch them for signs of cold, like huddling or loud peeping and B) they have a non windy/rainy safe place to go, and C) Make sure it's not too wet.

    Although, in mid-80s I'd say you're good to go. But just watch them. And if you put out a heat lamp I just can't think of a down side!
     
  3. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2009
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    They won't have a heat lamp outside because they'll just be wandering about free-range style with me and the kids. We don't have the outside run built yet and no way to get electricity to the back of our yard where the chicks will be. I just thought we could sit with them under a tree for a bit... but everything you read says:

    Have chicks - stick under heat lamp.

    LOL...

    So... I guess it's okay for them to have a daily field trip in the back yard for an hour or so with us right?
     
  4. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Massachusetts
    Yeah, I would just give them a little shelter, like a cardboard box on its side or something. You're lucky you're in Florida: you can't take baby chicks out at this time of year in Massachusetts! [​IMG]
     
  5. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 3, 2008
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    think about what a hen would do. shes not constantly on them. I mean at first yes but they go outside with her and everthing
     
  6. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's a great idea - we have a cardboard box we can put out there for them to run in. Yeah - it was 92 the other week, but it's down to around 86 right now. Not so hot...just right.

    think about what a hen would do. shes not constantly on them. I mean at first yes but they go outside with her and everthing

    Good point. I figured as much, but it's a tough call when you're new at this and none of the books I've got mentions taking the chicks on backyard field trips. It only mentions the brooder.

    Ours will have to live outside full-time with no heat lamp at 4-5 weeks old, so hopefully they'll do fine. We're going on vacation, so they'll have to get used to it. It shouldn't get much below upper 60s to 70 at night and should be in mid to upper 80s in the day - and they'll be checked on twice a day by our pet-sitters so hopefully it'll all work out. [​IMG] I really love these feathery little things already and we've only had them a week - LOL [​IMG]
     
  7. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I took mine on lots of outside field trips whenever the weather was nice enough, starting at about a week old. I took them into the coop and run before it was finished and let them play in the grass (or what little grass we had in Jan/Feb). I took them for longer and longer time periods, starting with just 10 minutes and working up to several hours as they got older. It was a good way for them to transition to full time outdoors, and I hated for them to have to stay in their brooder all the time...they looked bored to me...LOL.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rusty's Ranch

    Rusty's Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    So Cal
    The chicks would definitely love going outside for short visits. I took ours out on sunny days when they were around 3 or 4 wks. We'd be out anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

    One caution I'd like to pass on ... I had the girls out one day (our run wasn't built yet) and thought nothing would happen since I was standing practically on top of them watching their every move. Well, I was unaware a cat was hiding in the bushes and pounced on one of the birds right in front of me! Fortunately Rosie was unharmed, just shaken up. So take them out - they'll love it, but please please please be careful of predators.
     
  9. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, and don't forget to give them Chick grit or Parakeet grit (not full grown chicken grit...it's too big) , because they will definitely be eating whatever they can fit in their mouths! They loved picking at the grass and hunting for bugs. I don't think they found very many, but I definitely saw them catch a little beetle thing.
     
  10. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2009
    Central FL
    Quote:GAH! Another thing to add to my list. LOL. Sooo.... do I take chick grit outside with me and put in a bowl? Or do I put the chick grit in their brooder?? do you scatter it or put it on a bowl?

    It sucks to be a newbie and feeling sooooo unsure of what to do. Sigh. I know I'll learn and I'll giggle at my "newness" soon enough...
     

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